By the way, from 3/16 thru 3/25, for 10 days I had the best home care anyone could want--my sister, who happens to be a nurse! I could not have gotten through being home and so sick with bronchitis without her care. Keeping all the meds straight, all the stuff we had to chart for 2 weeks (daily temp, weigh-in, blood pressure and beats per minute, glucose testing), and when I took what med when, with food, and then drink, drink, drink to rehydrate after getting so severely dehydrated in the hospital--it was an all day event of keeping track of all this! But my "Nancy Nurse" sister was on the case!
So, this is a great big SHOUT OUT of thanks beyond measure to my sister, Melinda, for all your care, love, jokes, and introducing me to Duck Dynasty on TV--who knew those crazy people were so funny??!!
I can't believe that 4 weeks ago I had my surgery! All the anticipation waiting from Oct. 24th till March 7th, and now I'm in the healing phase! Praise God! I can't say enough good things about Drs. Adams and Fischer and their teams of healthcare professionals! Fantastic! They were super experts on pain management and so very caring and helpful!
While in the hospital, I contracted bronchitis, so the coughing 24/7 with that illness was gruesome on my cut opened chest! I finally got the antibiotics and cough medicine I desperately needed when I got home--thank God for the visiting nurse from Dominican Sisters who took charge and got me those meds! And she taught me a great way to ease the pain of all the coughing. Take a new role of paper towels and hug it the long way when coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose! The heart pillow is cute, but basically not functional! The paper towel role really works 100 times better! So the towel role has become my little traveling buddy wherever I go, room to room, in the car, etc.! Of course I still needed pain meds, but hugging into the role gave much more support. I stopped taking the Dilaudid the end of March and am doing OK on 3 Advil, 3x a day, for the rib/chest/back pain from all the coughing and pulled muscles. The surgical incision pain is non-existent!
Because I have asthma, I didn't get discharged on a beta blocker prescription, and because my blood pressure was so very low, I didn't go back on the Cardizem. However, after 4 weeks of tachycardia up in the 120s and shortness of breath, Dr. Adams' P.A. thought it would be wise to see if I could get in to see my local cardiologist. I got to see his P.A. yesterday, and then she ran a mini-echo to make sure I didn't have any fluid around the heart, which I don't! Yay! So I started the Cardizem lowest dose of 120mg. Today I got to take a walk without pounding palpiations and the shortness of breath has eased up somewhat! Yay!
I just started home physical therapy--they were backlogged for over 2 wks, but I was so sick the first 2 weeks when I got home, I couldn't have done anything anyhow! Thank God the antibiotics and cough meds killed the infection and cough, and now I can work on the phys. ther. exercises.and get stronger! Slow and steady wins the race!
Here's to warmer weather and walking in sunshine!
So grateful to be alive and healing!
Well, my discharge got cancelled this morning. Seems last night's blood tests came back low, so I need a blood transfusion. Also, the neuro dr wants the MRI done before I leave, so they are squeezing that in (could be late tonight before there's an opening). I'm bummed! Yet, I know they are paying attention to every medical detail that is for my best, so it's a temporary glitch. I'll go home tomorrow. I'm also starting bronchitis. Coughing is a challenge after you have heart surgery! Oh well, this too shall pass! God is in control!
Today was an exhausting day, physically and emotionally. I had many specialists going over a couple of challenges. Hallelujah! They ruled out a pacemaker! My heart needs more time for swelling to go down. I'll be having an MRI of my brain regarding double vision and then try to figure out why I'm having odd, vertical, visual, sudden movements. They're gradually lessening so that's good.
I attended the discharge class and learned a lot. The cardiac care provided here is definitely given by "The A Team!" So thorough down to the slightest details of any medical issue. What a blessing!!
So tomorrow I go home just 6 days after having major open-heart surgery!! It blows my mind! I'm thankful for all the tips by former patients and by staff, and especially Adam Pick's book. BUT most of all, for Dr. David Adams and Dr. Greg Fischer!! Their expertise and dedication brought me through this as "a model patient," said Dr. Adams to me!! He was so genuinely pleased! Needless to say, so am I! No anaphylactic reactions, and no vomiting, not even nausea!! Dr. Fischer, he's the man! If he can't do it, nobody can!!
So my newly repaired heart has been given a new start, and I am so looking forward to participating in life again! Look out SPRING, here I come!! :)
AND to God Who gets the glory for orchestrating this whole event, I am forever grateful!!
Had a breathing treatment because oxygen is a little low. Took potassium cuz that was a little low. They are on to of every detail. Very thorough--excellent care. Have some fluid under right ribs/chest. Very painful. Took pain meds so I could try taking deeper breaths. Using spirometer to build up.
Yay!! They took out that big chest tube, 3 IVs, and foley! I'm getting liberated! Still have 2 small drains in chest, but also took out neck drain! Amazing that someone figured this all out, and it works towards healing! Ingenious!! My eye is still "flashing" and will see another eye dr tomorrow--one day at a time!
Today was a bad day! Glad a new day will be in the morning, like God's mercies! My allergies kicked in to a med in my IV-it was scary, but my nurse knew what to do right away. She rescued me! For 3 days my eyes have had a weird sudden "flashing" that disrupts my vision. Saw an eye dr today, retina is OK, seeing another eye dr on Monday. Please pray for this visual disturbance to heal.
Hospitals are not conducive to resting. I'm exhausted.
Cath test went well-- no anaphylactic symptoms!! Heart surgery~~no nausea and no vomiting at all! The A TEAM is fantastic!! I couldn't have had a better team! Dr Adams said I was a model patient and didn't have any reactions! Hooray! I am so thankful to God and all the wisdom and skills He gave to all who cared for me.
The healing has begun, not even 48 hrs since the surgery!
Time changed for surgery tomorrow--now I'll be going down to OR around 10:00-10:30, then surgery around noonish-12:30 or so. I have a sore throat and post-nasal drip, so please add that to your prayers!! Thanks!
I just spoke to dr. from anesthesia--excellent information and so nice!! I do have "The A Team" caring for me! I go down to the OR at 6:00 a.m., anesthesia takes about an hr., surgery about 4 hrs, so I might be done by noon! He helped calm me a little more. "I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with thanksgiving offer your supplications to The Lord." I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding!!
I came through the catheterization test with no anaphylactic symptoms, all due to the very knowledgeable and skilled team of drs./staff, and God who gave them their wisdom!! :). Now for tomorrow and the surgery! I liked a comment posted that for them, it's "just another day at the office" since this is what they do every day!! That is a great confidence booster!! :)
Tomorrow is the first day of my new life with no heart disease!
The first thought that popped into my head when my alarm went off today was "This is the day the Lord has made; I will be glad and rejoice in it!" Isn't that a marvelous way to greet the day of my cath test? Yay! I'm on my way!...
While I'm apprehensive about this huge surgery, I'm relieved it's next week and will finally be over soon. I am scared about the pain that Adam Pick discussed during his recovery. I can't even imagine this whole surgical process and recovery. I just learned in Adam's book that my heart will be stopped. I never thought about that! I read it this afternoon--crazy me, it's all I can think of! The whole thing just blows my mind. I've had both hips replaced, extensive reconstructive surgery on my whole foot, a total hysterectomy, and other operations, but this mitral/tricuspid valve repair and aneurysm fixed takes the cake! I think this surgery tops all of my many, many operations by far! Part of me wants to scream that I can't do this and run away; the other part says "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." The screaming part needs to catch up with the Christ strengthening me part!! Besides, if I ran away, I'd be bringing my damaged heart with me, so that's no help!! And I can't run anyhow! Just walking takes my breath away!
I also wonder if there are other patients like me who were anaphylactically allergic to the contrast dye for the catheterization, and/or had severe reactions to the general anesthesia with horrible, non-stop vomiting while still basically unconscious in recovery? I'm going to pose that question to Adam on his blog.